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Help! Is my death feigning beetle dying?

Discussion in 'Insects, Other Invertebrates & Arthropods' started by alvap, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. alvap

    alvap Arachnopeon

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    Please guys, can you help me figure out if my death feigning beetle is actually dying? I bought them three or four weeks ago for my daughter, and we went on vacation for a week. While we were out we left them dry food (cricket powered and dog food). we got back yesterday and one has been 80% of the time with his legs up (as if feigning death) but when we walks, he limps. Honestly, he doesn't look good. He walks very slowly. Can it be dying? Anything I can do?
    The other three are also kind of slow but look a bit better and seem to have more energy. Please share any advice, I am new to this and don't know what to do.
    Also, FYI, the one that seems "sick" had lost part of a leg when we brought him home. I don't know if this is as issue.
    Please let me know your opinion and what to do, tips to take care of them, etc. Thanks!
     
  2. The Seraph

    The Seraph Arachnobaron

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    Pictures would help us greatly in determining what is wrong with your beetle. Also, I am not sure how long death feigning beetles live but I do know that beetles in general do not live very long, only a few weeks. Finally, would you please use the scientific name? There are many different species of death feigning beetles, and using the scientific name makes things much clearer regarding species.
     
  3. Sorry to hear about the sick bdf beetle. I also have four of these beetles for well over a year now. They are very hardy actually but I’m not expert in their behaviors. Despite beetles typically living months to a year this species lives for a surprisingly long time. 5 - 10 + years. Anyway keep us updated maybe it’s just the handicap of missing his leg. (Tarsus). Good luck!
     
  4. Asbolus verrucosus is the scientific name btw. Would actually like to find a supplier closer to me. Hehe
     
  5. The Seraph

    The Seraph Arachnobaron

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    I just realized that I was thinking of another type of beetle. Oh well, photos are still appreciated, and otherwise I agree with Murray. It is most likely caused by the leg. If it is Asbolus verrucosus then I believe they can live for a very long time but since they are very hard to breed in captivity that means the age is unknown. It could be freshly eclosed or at the end of its life.
     
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  6. Polenth

    Polenth Arachnoknight Active Member

    Something that struck me is the food. Do you only feed dry food or do they get anything else? Desert critters don't need a lot of moisture, but if they're not getting any in their food, it will eventually kill them.
     
  7. pannaking22

    pannaking22 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    Since you would have gotten them as wild caught individuals that one could just be at the end of its life.
     
  8. alvap

    alvap Arachnopeon

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    Thank you for the reply! Here is a photo. This is the third time in the last few days that I find him in the terrarium with his legs up. Nobody has touched him, he just stays like that for hours. He's very lethargic and has a hard time rolling over. He limps when we walks and one of the legs (not the missing one but one in the back) doesn't seem to work well. I have tried lots of things. I even put him right on top of food (lettuce, cricket meal, etc.) and he doesn't seem to eat. Of course, I can't watch him all day. When I get home I notice he does change positions, but he acts very different from the other three. The other three are very energetic, and "hang out" together. The three go under a log, or crawl around together, etc. This one is just there by himself, always alone and moves occasionally. I think he may be close to the end of his life. I hope not.

    Do you guys know if sleeping with his legs up like this (see photo) is normal behavior?

    By the way, I do not know the scientific name, it must be the one mentioned by another member below. I bought them at a local pet store as "blue death feigning beetle". I am honestly surprised at how attached I am to them by now, and so is my daughter. If this one dies we're gonna be so sad.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  9. alvap

    alvap Arachnopeon

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    We give them also lettuce and apple a few times a week, except for the one week we went on vacation. Then, when we got back this beetle (one of four) seems to not be doing well. The other three seem OK.

    Here's a photo. I have found him three time already "sleeping" or something like this. Is this a normal pose? The other three just crawl under the wood/log in the terrarium but this one put his legs up, and he has trouble rolling over. I have a feeling he is not doing well, but I have no experience with beetles other than the last 4 weeks with the 4 beetles I bought. What do you think?
     

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  10. VolkswagenBug

    VolkswagenBug Arachnobaron

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    That is definitely not a normal pose for a BDFB based on my experiences. Your care seems adequate, so it's likely age.
    Based only on the underside, that doesn't look quite like a real Asbolus verrucosus (true death feigning beetle). A. verrucosus should be light blue in captivity if it's doing well. Moisture does cause them to darken, so maybe try ventilating the enclosure a little more and not misting as frequently if you do mist. To get a better look, could you take a picture of the backside of a healthy one?
    You probably don't need to feed them quite so frequently -- once a week should be fine -- and I would recommend using baby carrots rather than apples, as they don't mold as much and the beetles like them. Apples shouldn't be harmful, though.
     
  11. alvap

    alvap Arachnopeon

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    Thanks for your reply and for the suggestions. Here's a couple of picture of a healthy one. I have been spraying them (as I googled and one person said they need to be sprayed) but now I learned they are from the desert so they don't need much water at all. I have stopped spraying them with water.
    IMG_0046.JPG IMG_0049.JPG
     
  12. VolkswagenBug

    VolkswagenBug Arachnobaron

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    Oh, okay, that is actually an Asbolus verrucosus. Just looked weird from the bottom. You can spray the enclosure on occasion to keep some moisture in there, but as a rule of thumb they should be light blue -- darker mean it's too moist.
     
  13. pannaking22

    pannaking22 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    I misted mine once every couple weeks when I had them. They like it really dry.
     
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  14. VolkswagenBug

    VolkswagenBug Arachnobaron

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    I mist them like once every two months and they're fine -- the humidity in my house is typical of Utah, and they thrive in the wild here.